L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Boozers’ day out on city roads
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
It was boozers’ day out as youths from across the city and neighbouring towns converged at Malhar Road and created ruckus last night.

Commuters, especially those with family, were harassed as their vehicles were stopped by the frenzied youths who had blocked the road to celebrate New Year.

The Sarabha Nagar market -- the city’s celebration destination -- was turned into a fortress as heavy police force was deployed there and no vehicle was allowed to enter the market. But such arrangements could hardly deter the crowd. The youths, numbering about 200, blocked traffic by parking vehicles in the middle of the road and put liquor bottles on their vehicles as they danced to Punjabi music.

Also, some daredevils performed stunts on the road, even as they fell off their bikes and received injuries.

Later the police dispersed the crowd and prevented it from holding up traffic.

“There was no safe place to celebrate the New Year last night as a big group of drunk youths were out on the roads. My parents told me to stay at home as it was not safe to go out,” Taniya Nayar, a college student, said.

The SHO of Sarabha Nagar said they had received orders from the authorities not to allow any vehicle to enter the market. The move paid off as it kept the rowdy elements at bay.

“Our focus was to safeguard families who were out to celebrate New Year and we did not want to dampen the festive spirit of the youths so we decided to disperse them,” the SHO (traffic) said, adding that only 175 vehicles were challaned last evening.


Partying hard on New Year’s Eve
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
While some residents partied until wee hours with actors and belly dancers, the others ushered in the New Year quietly with their loved ones at home.

The entire city was awake and all major markets were bustling with activity. Bakeries and florists were open till late in the night.

Firecrackers went up into the sky when the clock struck 12. Members of Sutlej Club danced to Aditya Jassi’s songs while singer Harbhajan Maan lent the evening a Punjabi touch with his songs. The major crowd pulling factor at the club was actor Tanushree Dutta while comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi had everyone in split. DJ Bhanu made people dance to his tunes at Lodhi Club.

Prominent hotels entertained guests with belly dancers and DJs and some terrace parties were a hit among the youth.

People danced on roads and some hosted parties at their homes or farmhouses. Some others went all the way to Shimla, Kasauli and Parwanoo. “Enjoying the New Year’s Eve in snow-clad mountains and bonfire made it special. It was a splendid feeling,” Harsimran, a resident, said.

Lunar eclipse was visible between 12.22 am and 1.24 am and some people chose to stay indoors. Some temples also shut early last night. “We preferred to remain indoors on the New Year’s Eve due to the lunar eclipse. I hope the coming year brings happiness to all despite it having started with an eclipse,” Ram Chander, a senior citizen, remarked.



Action against sewerage, water tax defaulters
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
After sealing drives by the house tax department, sewerage and water tax defaulters are now the next target.

Sources in the civic body said the O&M cell planned to undertake sealing drives against individuals and commercial establishments that had not paid sewerage and water taxes. Before the drive, sewer connections of these buildings would be disconnected.

The sources said action would be the same for government departments and the public. The seals would not be opened until the defaulters submitted the tax.

The zone-D today disconnected five sewerage connections. The defaulters had to pay around Rs 5 lakh and despite repeated reminders, had failed to do so.

The XEN, Manjit Singh, said: “We have been able to take such an action because of the support of the Zonal Commissioner. The defaulters whose connections have been disconnected are Sigma Heart Centre, Gurdev Nagar, XEN Sidhwan Bet Canal, a commercial establishment at Bharat Nagar Chowk and two persons identified as Gyan Singh and Bishan Singh, both residents of Model Town.”

He said employees had strict instructions to be firm with defaulters even if they were government officials.

“We expect a new era of working with freedom. We are instilled with hope and want to undertake development that makes a difference to society,” a senior official stated, pleading anonymity.



Fire at former MC chief’s godown
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 1
A major fire broke out early this morning at the godown of Raj Rani, a former president of the local municipal council.

Short circuit is considered to be the cause of the fire. Fire brigade teams from Doraha, Khanna, Payal and Ludhiana were pressed into service and could extinguish the fire only by noon. The raw material for aluminium foil stored at the godown caught fire in no time. Raj Rani said they were informed by their help early in the morning.

“Power breakdown hampered the work of the fire brigade as there was shortage of water. It took almost half day to bring the situation under control,” her son stated, claiming the loss to be between Rs 70 to 80 lakh.

The tehsildar Payal, Mandeep Dhillon, who visited the spot said the raw material had been reduced to ashes.

The chowki in charge of Doraha said a short circuit was probably the only reason as the godown was covered from all sides and there was no possibility of any foul play.



Doctor booked for kidnapping
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
A doctor at a rehabilitation centre, a woman and four others have been booked on the charges of allegedly kidnapping a man.

The victim, identified as Gurpreet Singh (26) of Islam Gunj, was reportedly kidnapped from his shop at Janta Nagar near Shimlapuri last evening and was rescued by the police from the Shimlapuri rehabilitation centre here today.

The victim alleged that his aunt Joginder Kaur and four unidentified men kidnapped him from the shop.

He claimed that he was taken to the rehabilitation centre where a doctor thrashed him. He said he had never taken drugs and alleged that his aunt was forcing him to become an addict so that she could usurp his property.

The police has booked all accused, including the doctor, and has launched a hunt to nab them.



Fog delays trains
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 1
Dense fog and near-zero visibility till late in the morning threw rail and vehicular traffic out of gear, with several trains running behind schedule, and traffic on roads coming to a standstill.

Railway officials said poor visibility delayed up trains coming from UP and Bihar. Also, 2029 New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi arrived an hour late while 5653 Himgiri Express and 5707 Barauni-Amritsar Express were delayed by nine hours and 5209 Jansewa Express was running late by two hours. Some early morning down trains coming from Amritsar and Jammu also arrived late by 15 minutes to an hour.

Vehicular traffic on the national and state highways and the feeder network of roads across the city was also hit till about 8.30 am.

A large number of heavy vehicles remained stranded along the highway as drivers waited for the visibility to improve.

It was only when the sun came out that the road traffic gained pace.



Now, kids to get domicile certificates in schools 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 1
Residents of villages falling under the western division of Ludhiana district will no longer require to shuttle between offices for getting the domicile and special category certificates for their wards as the same will now be provided by the administration at schools falling in the area.

This step, besides saving the parents, most of whom are labourers and peasants from physical and mental harassment, will also help save their money that could have been otherwise pocketed by agents during admission days.

Students who have passed classes X and XII from the government and recognised schools in localities falling under the western subdivision of Ludhiana district will be issued documents certifying residence, caste and rural nature through heads of their institutes on submission of affidavits by their parents.

Perusal of communication written by Prem Chand, SDM (West), to heads of all high and senior schools falling under his jurisdiction revealed that the documents, usually demanded by higher educational institutes during admissions would be issued to all those appearing in classes X and XII.

Observing that lots of days get wasted in getting the required certificates by visiting various offices, the SDM (West) directed his staff to initiate the process for preparing these documents by summoning details through heads of various institutes.

“In order to issue rural and residence certificate to students without bothering their parents, you are directed to send particulars of those studying in classes X and XII so that their certificates could be sent in the schools,” reads the letter written by Prem Chand, SDM (West).

The heads have been asked to collect copies of affidavits from the administrative office and return them after getting signed by the parents. Deponent will be required to affix Rs 15 stamp on the affidavit.

Schools have been asked to submit the documents by January 31 so that the certificates could be issued well in time.

Krishana Sharda, principal, Kartar Singh Dukki Senior Secondary School, Latala, said the in charge of classes concerned for preparing the lists of students in given performa



Link roads pose threat to lives
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 1
In spite of numerous developmental projects being undertaken by successive governments, the lives of those using link roads are still not safe due to the apathy of PWD officials towards the maintenance of fences on bridges.

Digging at various places for the four-laning of the Malerkotla-Ludhiana road and dense fog has compounded the problem for commuters here. The abrupt ending of motorable portions of the road and trenches along these stretches has become deathtraps.

The administration seems to have learnt no lesson from the accidents that have taken place due to the unmanageable curves and bridges without fences.

Most of the link roads and the bridges in the area have become deathtraps for want of repairs. The threat is more serious for those using the roads at night and early in the morning.

Temporary fences and warning signs put up by the PWD authorities have been removed by workers of contractors undertaking construction of the roads and the bridges.

Drivers find it difficult to negotiate turns at the Jagera and Kaind bridges, thanks to the pitiable condition of the roads. Numerous fatal accidents have taken place at these two bridges.

Bends on roads at Pohir, Dehlon, Sarinh and Gill villages pose a threat to motorists. Railings of numerous bridges on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road and link roads are also damaged.

A span of the Malerkotla-Ludhiana road where work on the four-laning is in progress is also fraught with danger.

Though warning signs have been put up at the end of motorable portions, these are inadequate. Poor visibility due to the fog has even worsened the situation.

Residents of the area have urged the authorities to ensure proper fencing at all bridges to ensure the safety of motorists.



Unfinished work has residents fuming
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Residents of Sunet village and BRS Nagar are a harried lot as they have been forced to experience bumpy ride owing to the lackadaisical attitude of the municipal corporation officials in completing the work on recarpeting of roads.

Stones had been added to roads in the area for laying of premix but the remainder of work had not been carried out.

A visit to the village revealed that stones were laid on the road just a few days before the ward elections.

“MC officials and a contractor suddenly appeared before elections and laid stones on roads, stating that these would be laid in a day or so. However, even after the elections the work was incomplete,” claimed Ramesh Sharma, an area resident.

He along with his neighbours said: “This part of the village falls in the the municipal corporation limits but roads are still broken. At night, driving on gravelly roads is unsafe and two-wheelers like scooters often meet with accidents.”

Many roads in “I” block of BRS Nagar share the same story. Gravelly roads have failed to wake the MC out of its slumber.

Stones were added to roads of “I” block over six months ago. However, officials had failed to recarpet these.

Interestingly, two roads leading to the houses of government officials were found intact.

Area councillor HS Brar said: “I have been told by the SDO of my area that 25 work orders have been issued for the construction of roads. However, when I questioned him on delay in starting of work, he failed to give a satisfactory answer.”

Brar alleged that officials were not paying heed to his repeated requests.

He also placed the matter before the MC house recently and was assured of appropriate action, but to no avail.



Tenders ignored in construction at park
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
In blatant violation of norms, construction of a boundary wall at a public park in Kidwai Nagar is in full swing even as tenders for the work were received here today.

According to sources, the tenders for undertaking the work are yet to be opened. However, a visit to the site revealed that the work had already been started.

Without the allotment of work to any contractor, around five workers have been engaged to build the boundary wall of the park and MC officials seem to have turned a blind eye to it.

On being confronted, the workers said an unknown person had hired them and they were working merely on daily wages. Area residents said the work had been going on for the past three days.

Under the MC norms, tenders have to be invited before undertaking any development work and the work is allotted once the finance and contracts committee (F&CC) gives the go-ahead.

However, no procedure has been followed in this case, bringing to fore the alleged official-political-contractor nexus in the municipal corporation.

Sources in the civic body said the estimate cost for the development of the park was over Rs 11.74 lakh and a two-month time period had to be given to the contractor to complete the work.

“But the way the work was going on in the area suggests that everything has been planned. How can a park be developed without following the proper procedure? It was surprising to see that officials had allotted the work without opening the tender bids or getting the approval of the F&CC. It seems they have not learned a lesson from the fake bill scam,” said a councillor.

Zonal commissioner MS Jaggi and tender cell in charge AK Singla could not be contacted.



Auto-rickshaw union urges minister to accept demands
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
The District Auto-Rickshaw Workers’ Federation has urged the Punjab cabinet minister Heera Singh Gabria to hold a meeting with them and settle various issues that were causing inconvenience to the auto-drivers and public.

Addressing mediapersons here today, union president Kulvir Singh Khalsa said: “We have a few demands and if they are met, auto-rickshaw drivers promise to extend their full support to the administration and the traffic police. These include formation of auto-rickshaw stands, a camp for issuing driver’s licence to auto-rickshaw drivers without conditions.”

Besides, challans to auto-rickshaw drivers should be issued in the same category and no new permits should be issued to new rickshaws.

Also, the old permits that had expired be renewed at the earliest, he added.

He said: “Our demands also include assistance by the district transport office to complete the paperwork of auto-rickshaws. We will support the government only if it is ready to support us.”

He added that the organisation was trying to hold a meeting with the minister.



Auto drivers won’t be challaned for 10 days
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
After the massive challaning of autorickshaws in December, the police went soft on auto drivers today, giving them a 10-day relaxation period and asking them to follow traffic rules. They won’t be challaned during this period.

The traffic police had started a drive last week and had challaned nearly 350 autorickshaws. The drivers protested against the drive and wanted the administration to give them some time.

The SSP, Dr Sukhchain Gill, said the relaxation period would help as the drivers would be observing the rules.

Addressing a function in connection with the road safety week here today, he said if the public followed traffic rules, there would be a decrease in accidents.

He urged the drivers not to consume alcohol and avoid the use of pressure horns.



Assault on Banipal
Ex-servicemen against another probe
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 1
The Indian Ex-Services League of Punjab and Chandigarh yesterday came out in support of Tehsildar GS Banipal, a retired Major from the Indian Army.

At a meeting specially called for discussing the issue, office-bearers unanimously decided that the injustice being done to Banipal by constituting a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for the second time by the police to give benefit to the accused of the assault case against which Banipal had already moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, will not be tolerated.

Col Bhag Singh Tihara, president of the organisation, said once the challan had been submitted in the court the move of the police to re investigate the case was illegal and unethical. The league urged the police and the state government to withdraw the second report and let the law take its own course.



Youths tap on Bollywood, Punjabi beats 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Tanushree Dutta, “iron girl” from Jamsedpur, who is now settled in Mumbai was recently in the city. She had made her debut with the film “Aashiq Banaya Aapne” and today has almost 12 films in her kitty. Coming next is her woman-oriented film “Apartment” for which the dusky beauty is keeping her fingers crossed. Next in the line is “Ruk”. Tanushree Dutta along with Aditya Jassi was in the city for the New Year celebrations organised at the Sutlej Club.

“The most important thing for an actress is to select the script. I always concentrate on selecting a good one for myself. I try to give my best, the rest depends on the filmmaker’s excellence in projecting my work,” she says.

On asked about the actor with whom she wants to work, she adds, “I don’t have any such desire. My role in the film is the first thing I look for.”

Dutta was all praise for Aamir Khan starrer “3 Idiots”. “It’s after a long time that a meaningful and motivational film has been released. I am all praise for the film and everyone should watch it,” she adds with a smile.

“Tension lene ka nahin dene ka kaam hai” was the song Aditya Jassi sang in the film “Dil Kabaddi” and this is his philosophy of life. “Worries and stress can make your life hell so the best option is to lead a happy life,” chips Aditya Jassi, who is a singer, music composer, lyrists and a writer. A jack of all trade has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and is a pilot.

This Punjabi boy from Delhi loves the food cooked by his mother. “The yummy food of my mother draws me to my home every weekend. I love to eat the dishes prepared especially by my mother,” he quips.

In between singing and writing he is also busy making documentaries for the production house “Arohi Cinematics” owned by his father and with his band ‘Ni9ne’. Aditya has composed tracks for the films like “Strangers”, “Dil Kabaddi” and “Jugaad”. In addition to this he also has a Hollywood film “Bollywood Beats” in his kitty in which he has sung the song “dance all night”

In the coming year Aditya Jassi’s new album will be released. The theme of the album is love. Aditya feels that “dhol” beats are liked not only in India, but all over the world. “People love to tap their feet on “dhol” beats in every nook and cranny of the world,” he adds with smile. 



Three medical stores raided 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
A team of drug inspectors lead by state drug controller Bhag Singh confiscated a huge quantity of the Scheduled “H” drugs during a raid conducted at three outlets in Pindi Street.

The team found numerous discrepancies in the records maintained by Satyam Pharma, Khullar Medical Store and Dada Distributors and huge quantity of syrups and capsules.

Drug inspector Rajesh Suri said: “About 550 bottles of syrups and 27, 824 capsules were seized from Satyam Pharma, while 2,120 bottles of syrups and 3,400 capsules were recovered from Khullar Medical Store. And 3,720 syrup bottles were seized from Dada Distributors.” He added that the purchase records of the three medical shops were found to intact but those of sales were found missing. 



Protect potato from late blight: Experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Late blight is a serious disease of potato and can result in huge losses in yield. According to Dr HS Rewal, head, Department of Plant Pathology, the survey by PAU has revealed that late blight of potato has appeared in isolated fields of potato in the districts of Jalandhar and Ludhiana.

As the potato crop planted during early October is nearing maturity, he has advised farmers to dehaulm the crop in order to protect the tubers from getting late blight infection.

In the fields, where the crop has not yet attained maturity, the farmers should protect their crop with sprays of Indofil M-45 Antracol, 700gm in 350 litre of water per acre, said Rewal adding that the sprays should be repeated at seven days interval. 



Anti-rabies vaccination camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, organised an anti-rabies vaccination camp for pets at animal clinics of the university here on Wednesday. The camp was inaugurated by Dr SS Sangha, Dean of the college.

Dr PK Verma, alumnus of the veterinary college, sponsored the camp.

As many 89 pet owners got their pets vaccinated. Dr Sangha appreciated Dr Verma's effort. Dr Verma held interactive session with GADVASU clinicians.

Dr Verma said the aim was to spread awareness about scientific rearing of animals for the benefit of pet owners and livestock owners.

For organising such camps, the authorities could be contacted at 0161-2414005, he added.



Regulation on IMEI Number
Users of Chinese mobiles feel the heat
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
With the government barring the use of mobile sets without genuine international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number, those owning Chinese handsets are having a tough time.

Though most subscribers have managed to get IMEI numbers of their cell phones, many others have been unable to get new IMEI numbers due to certain technical problems. Irked by prolonged wait, many have bought new handsets.

The Mobile Standards Alliance of India, through the genuine IMEI implant programme, is working in partnership with the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the department of telecommunications to implant genuine IMEI numbers on to mobile handsets that carry non-genuine IMEI numbers. A source from the telecom department said according to studies, there were currently 25 million mobile phones in India without the IMEI numbers.

Imported phones like Chinese mobiles without IMEI numbers were allowed to operate in India. However, this was exploited by criminals to get away with serious crimes.

“Finally, the Cellular Operators Association of India and the department of telecom took necessary steps to block all invalid or fake IMEI handsets from December across the country. Henceforth, it was made mandatory to have a valid 16-digit IMEI number for a mobile phone,” he added.

IMEI number is a 16-digit number that appears on the service provider’s network logs each time a call is made from a mobile phone.

This number is unique to a particular handset and can be used to trace the location of the handset within one-kilometre radius.



Vet varsity unveils roadmap for 2010
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Unveiling the roadmap for research activities to be undertaken by the university in the year ahead (2010), Vice-Chancellor of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) Dr V.K. Taneja yesterday complimented university colleagues for pushing the university high on a positive slope in terms of progress and research work during the past year.

Extending the New Year greetings to livestock community Taneja said the university was in process of developing a vision document-Vision2020- that could serve as a “lighthouse” for veterinary research and extension activities in the state. He said the document would be finalised soon and would deal with “everything and anything” required to give a push to white and blue revolution in the state.

The Vice-Chancellor said strengthening regional stations and starting farmers’ training programmes would be another prioritised area. He said the university hoped to establish three KVK’s and one more regional station and a college of Veterinary Polytechnic at Kaljharani in the year ahead. “Work on other buildings like College of Dairy Science and Technology, Farmer’s hostel, Scientist home, too has been proposed to be initiated this year”, the VC said.

Elaborating upon the all-round achievements of the university in 2009, the VC said two new colleges, a Department of Animal Biotechnology and two regional stations was added to its kitty.

The VC said that university had a large manpower in veterinary sciences, which was young, well qualified, and competent and could do wonders. “ The only need is to provide effective support and leadership at all levels for better coordination and targeted output in a given time frame”, he said. He exhorted his colleagues to take every project or research concept to its logical conclusions to avoid any infiltration of incomplete information and lower output. 



Faculty development programme concludes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 1
The 24th one-week programme of NITCON, Chandigarh, on faculty development concluded here yesterday at the RIMT- Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The programme was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, and EDII, Ahmedabad.

Twenty-seven faculty members from different streams attended the programme to develop an entrepreneurial culture and effective communication skills so that they may impart the same knowledge to budding engineers so as to become job providers instead of job seekers.

Speaking on the occasion, RIMT-MAEC principal Dr Pritpal Singh highlighted the role of entrepreneurial culture in developing countries and advised participants to spread the knowledge of the programme to the students so that they may become successful entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the occasion, vice-chairman of the institute Vijayant Bansal, who was the chief guest of the function, said in this era of social and knowledge entrepreneurship, RIMT was committed to quality education and he distributed the certificates to the participants.

According to the Business Administration Department head Dr. Bimal Anjum, the only way to develop Indian Economy was to develop micro and small enterprises in India and this programme was organised to serve this purpose.

In this programme, renowned resource persons shared their experiences on various aspects. Dr. Balbir Singh, behavioral scientist and vice -president, NITCON, Chandigarh, educated the faculty to match their qualities with successful persons to become professionals in their profession and inculcate the same among students besides curriculum teaching. Chief manager Vijay Arora coordinated the programme and also shared valuable experiences of entrepreneurship among the participants. RIMT-IET principal Dr Harsh Sadawarti proposed the vote of thanks and said entrepreneurs played an important role in developing and contributing to the economy of a nation.

In a developing world there are ample opportunities for innovations to exploit the available resources and initiate entrepreneurial ventures.



Seven-day NSS camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
A seven-day NSS camp concluded at SCD Government College here today. The camp on “Health, public sanitation and personal hygiene” was held at Ayali Khurd village under the supervision of Prof Nachhatar Singh, Prof BS Wadhwa and Dr Amarjit Kaur.

A series of lectures were organised on various topics like general health awareness, yoga, balanced diet and prevention from swine flu.

A social awareness rally was also organised at an adopted village, Ayali Khurd, and projects related with beautification of the village and college campus were completed during the camp.

A cultural programme was organised on the last day of the camp in which songs, ghazals and classic dances were presented.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Kuldip Singh was the chief guest and gave away prizes to best volunteer, executive members and resource persons.

The Bhai Ghaniya Award was given to volunteer Bhag Singh for selfless services during the various camps organised by the NSS unit of the college.



Foundation day at CIPHET
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
The Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), an institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), on Tuesday celebrated its 21st foundation day.

The institute was established in 1989.

Dr RT Patil, director of CIPHET, said in a short span CIPHET had made a mark in post-harvest by developing new technologies. He said they had developed technologies like pomegranate aril extractor, ground-based milk, guava bars production and green chilli powder production.

Emphasising on post-harvest, Dr Patil said taking cue from CIPHET, Maharastra and Rajasthan had recently set up their own state-level institutions in post-harvest. "Though production has increased manifolds in past few decades, condition of farmers is more or less the same," he said, adding that their condition could be improved only through value addition.

Dr Nawab Ali, former deputy director general (engineering), ICAR, said CIPHET should lay emphasis on minimising post-harvest losses of nutrients during food processing.

He said technologies developed by scientists should reach end users and researchers should not confine themselves to labs only.

Head, transfer of technology Dr Deepak Raj Rai, was conferred with best worker award in scientist men category and senior scientist Dr Sangeeta Chopra in women category for their achievements. Others who got best worker award include VK Sarahan and Sonia Rani (technical category), Iqbal Singh and Jasvinder Kaur (administration category) and Shalik Gram Dwivedi (supporting staff).

CIPHET director also honoured employees completing 10 years of service with the institute. He also gave cheques for Rs 1,000 each for children of employees/officials who performed well in board exams.



Lecture on Darwinism
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Based on comprehensive studies of recent findings in genetics, Dr BS Ghai, former head of department of genetics, delivered a lecture on "Darwinism: An Inconceivable Hypothesis", at Punjab Agricultural University on Wednesday, which was presided over by PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang, who is also an eminent geneticist.

Ghai revealed that most mutations occurring in nature were deleterious with reduced fitness of the organisms. All living organisms from viruses to human beings were acquiring deleterious mutations at a very high rate, he observed adding that these were not being removed from the population through natural selection.

Ghai revealed that majority of the mutations that transformed wild species into domesticated crops were loss of function mutations or deletions of genetic material. These mutations were harmful to the wild species and reduced the fitness of the species to grow in a wild habitat, he observed. But these mutations became useful to man in due course. The mutations converted the toxic material into edible form and there was improvement of quality for human beings with tremendous increase in yield. Hundreds of mutations occurred that were beneficial to man.

He said the mutations associated with the process of domestication were not random mutations but were directed ones in the sense that potential sites for mutations were already created and existed in the wild species. In symbolic terms he said God’s fingerprints were revealed in the genomes of the wild progenitor species.

On this occasion, Kang released a book "Darwinism: An Unconceivable Hypothesis" written by Ghai.

Kang said it was good that Ghai is connected with his subject even years after his retirement. He thanked Ghai for his motivational deliberation that could inspire the younger scientists.



SC lecturers threaten stir against DPC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 1
Accusing the state government of trying to appease some legislators by implementing alleged flawed seniority list of lecturers in government schools, activists of the Scheduled Caste Lecturers Struggle Committee have threatened to launch a “do or die” movement in case the authorities insists on holding departmental promotion committee proposed on January 4.

Urging the legislators from the Scheduled Caste category to intervene in the matter, the activists contended that members of lower strata would stop reposing faith in their elected leaders in case they failed to protect their rights.

Committee president Kanwal Jit Singh Rataul alleged that the state government was bent upon implementing the alleged flawed seniority list of lecturers for promotion to post of principals in violation of rules.

In a communiqué addressed to education minister, SC/ST welfare department secretary, Chief Minister and SC/ST Commission chairman, activists and office-bearers led by Rataul and Kulwant Singh alleged that officials preparing lists had ignored actual seniority of lecturers belonging to the SC category allegedly to appease certain general category candidates.

Referring to decisions taken during a state-level meeting held today, Rataul claimed all office-bearers had decided to adopt “do or die” policy in case the authorities insisted on holding DPC on the scheduled date.

“How can we tolerate that the authorities appoint candidates much junior to us as our principals? Moreover, the government should wait for the final decision on our representations given against the list prepared in February last year,” said Rataul, maintaining that a large number of lecturers belonging to the SC category would be working under their students, appointed directly as lecturer, in case the list was implemented.

To decide the final recourse of agitation, a meeting of the office-bearers and activists had been convened at Government Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, in Ludhiana on Sunday. 



Local lad bags national tennis title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 1
Local lad Tegbir Singh Hara created history of sorts when he won the title in the boys under-12 singles category in the All-India Lawn Tennis Championship, organised from December 28 to 31 at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Tennis Complex, Ram Bagh Garden, Amritsar.

According to his coach Surinder Singh, Tegbir gave good account of himself in the tournament and came out triumphant. In the final, Tegbir scored an upset victory over top seed Shrey Gupta.

Tegbir lost the first set 4-6 but bounced back to overpower Shrey 7-5 to level the score.

In the third and deciding set, Tegbir dominated throughout and gave no chance to his opponent, wrapping it up 6-2 to fetch him the title. The final lasted three hours.

On his way to the final, Tegbir Singh edged out second seed Sharman of Delhi in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to secure a berth in the semifinal where he, after surviving some anxious moments, beat Faisal Qumar, a trainee of Harvest Tennis Academy, Jassowal, 4-6, 6-4 and 6-4 to set up a title clash with Shrey Gupta.

Meanwhile, Dalvinder Singh of Harvest Tennis Academy outplayed Shrey Gupta 6-1, 1-6 and 6-1 to bag the title in the boys’ under-14 category.

Raghunandan Lal Bhatia, former Member of Parliament and president, Punjab State Lawn Tennis Association, gave away prizes to the winners.



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